jump to navigation

Got Stress? Find a Hobby March 8, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Health & Wellness, Life Balance.

Many of us carry dangerously high stress loads which  negatively impact our mental, emotional, and physical health.  

Finding ways to reduce stress levels is important if we want to live life to the fullest, both now and in the future. 

One stress reducer to consider ~ hobbies, which offer benefits beyond the obvious.  

When we set aside our daily cares long enough to engage in pleasant activities and pursuits, such as a favorite hobby, we boost our immune systems, increase our enjoyment of life, have fun, explore our innate creativity, gain a sense of accomplishment (boosting self-esteem along with our immune system), and  generally increase our overall health and well-being.

“Stress thwarts the immune system,” said Dr. Cynthia Ambres during an interview with  The Buffalo News (AARP Daily Bulletin).  

According to Ambres, Chief Medical Officer of HealthNow New York, fully 43 percent of adults in the U.S. suffer negative health effects due to chronic stress.  Hobbies can make a difference in reducing those levels.

“Even half an hour a day spent working at an active hobby like gardening, painting, pottery-making, knitting, model-building or the like is enough to  significantly improve our mental state and physical health.”

Hobbies benefit us in much the same way as meditation, t’ai chi and yoga ~ by reminding us to stay in the moment. 

Painting a watercolor, for example, provides a restful interlude for our busy minds.  As we select exactly the right color to apply in each section of the painting,  stressful thoughts about paying the bills, and meeting the needs and demands of others, recede into the background, allowing us to connect with the present moment, the eternal now, and recharge our depleted reserves.

Quote:  Tomorrow’s life is too late.  Live today.  ~ Marcus Valerius Martialis

No rules.  Just write!


1. Richard W Scott - March 8, 2010

Nancy, I have to agree.

I think you could take this one step further, though, and note that one of the great killers of the retired is… you guess it, boredom. I would like to see stats on boredom and stress. I’m thinking that they are more closely related than you would imagine.

If you have a hobby, or if you take a hobby-esque pursuit further, say to the level of avocation, or further still into an income producing function that you love to do, how can your life not benefit?

2. James McShane - March 8, 2010

Your first paragraph is me all over.

So, tonight, I’m going to curl up with a ‘difficult’ book, The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, and challenge myself. And I won’t require caffeine to help me, either.

3. nrhatch - March 8, 2010

Excellent point, Rik.

Boredom at any age destroys our innate sense of curiosity and wonder at the world around us ~ ennui fills us with a sense of “been there, done that” which causes us to be less alive than otherwise.

Creative pursuits have exactly the opposite effect ~ renewing our spirits, and reminding us that “everything is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.” (Kobi Yamada)

4. nrhatch - March 8, 2010

James, enjoy the stress relief of curling up with Ayn Rand.

Any time we stretch our muscles (both physical and intellectual), the benefits go far beyond the burn.

5. James McShane - March 8, 2010

I’ll either be thanking Rik for the heads up or removing all knowledge of his existence. But so far, so good.

(Sorry, Rik.) 🙂

6. Graydon Archer - March 8, 2010

One of the best cures I’ve found not only for stress, but boredom as well, is for me to to get out of me.
I volunteer what time I can in visiting the elderly. If one truely wishes
to know what its like to be bored, I suggest going to visit a few of these poor, (some totaly alone) people. The rewards are unbeleavable! The smiles, the warmth, the knowledge that you are getting out of self.

The best I can be, is me out of me.

7. nrhatch - March 8, 2010

Excellent point!

Volunteering for causes near and dear to our hearts has definitely been shown to increase happiness . . . both in ourselves and those we serve.

Yay for you!

Sorry comments are closed for this entry

%d bloggers like this: